A former soldier is leading the drive in supporting the armed forces community in Lancashire, under an initiative backed by the city’s university.
Ian Barber, a solider for 27 years, has been appointed as the Project Lead for the new Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub.
The Hub, which is based within the College for Military Veterans and Emergency Services (CMVES) at the University of Central Lancashire was set up to work closely with local councils across the county to support people serving in the armed forces, veterans and their families.
Ian, who has also worked for Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Forces Association, will hold the reins for the next 18 months.
The targeted support service has been made possible through a partnership bid between UCLan, Lancashire County Council, Army Headquarters North West and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which secured £152,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
Ian, who spent his final 12 years in the army working in soldier welfare support, said: “It’s an exciting new role that will allow me to take the lead in really making a difference to the lives of those serving in the military and to veterans who are looking to settle down into civilian life.
The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub will work closely with a variety of charities and support organisations to create a central point for people to access the services they need with ease.”
The support on offer will range from helping people with finding employment, housing and schools as well as health and wellbeing issues such as finding a forces friendly social group to help those feeling isolated.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub can contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org call 01772 892300 or visit the Hub on Mondays at CMVES, Kirkham Building, Bhailok Street, Preston, PR1 7AD.